Common Wood is a semi-natural Ancient Woodland dating back well over 1,000 years as part of a 4000 acre common heath. With support from the Woodland Trust, the Chiltern Society and the Lottery Heritage Fund, the Society has been able to safeguard the wood for the benefit of the local community. It is committed to providing open access to all, and has set about an extensive management programme of both the natural habitat and the access throughout the wood.
The mainly beech woodland (with some Douglas fir avenues) which we see today was replanted by the Penn House Estate when the wood was awarded to Earl Howe by the Inclosure Award in 1855. Over the years, the beech has been felled, either by clear felling whole areas, or by selective felling to preserve a continuous canopy. This, combined with a rich variety of soil types, has resulted in an interesting mix of flora within the wood.